Get 40% Off
🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Adidas ends Ye deal over hate speech, costing rapper his billionaire status

Published 10/25/2022, 04:34 AM
Updated 10/25/2022, 05:31 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rapper Kanye West calls for a question from the crowd as he holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020.  REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo
GPS
-
NKE
-
ADDYY
-

By Uday Sampath Kumar

(Reuters) -Adidas AG terminated its partnership with rapper and fashion designer Ye on Tuesday after he made a series of antisemitic remarks, a move that knocked the musician off the Forbes list of the world's billionaires.

Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) put the tie-up, which has produced several hot-selling Yeezy branded sneakers, under review this month.

"Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech," the German company said on Tuesday.

"Ye's recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company's values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness," it said.

Forbes magazine said the end of the deal meant Ye's net worth shrank to $400 million. The magazine had valued his share of the Adidas partnership at $1.5 billion.

The remainder of Ye’s wealth comes from real estate, cash, his music catalogue and a 5% stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims, Forbes said.

Representatives for Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For Adidas, ending the partnership and the production of Yeezy branded products, as well as stopping all payments to Ye and his companies, will have a "short-term negative impact" of up to 250 million euros ($248.90 million) on net income this year, the company said.

Ye has courted controversy in recent months by publicly ending major corporate tie-ups and making outbursts on social media against other celebrities. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, with the social media platforms removing some of his online posts that users condemned as antisemitic.

In now-deleted Instagram posts earlier this year, the multiple Grammy award-winning artist accused Adidas and U.S. apparel retailer Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) of failing to build contractually promised permanent stores for products from his Yeezy fashion line.

He also accused Adidas of stealing his designs for its own products.

On Tuesday, Gap, which had ended its partnership with Ye in September, said it was taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap products from its stores and that it had shut down YeezyGap.com.

"Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values," Gap said in a statement.

European fashion house Balenciaga has also cut ties with Ye, according to media reports.

"The saga of Ye ... underlines the importance of vetting celebrities thoroughly and avoiding those who are overly controversial or unstable," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.

Adidas poached Ye from rival Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) in 2013 and agreed to a new long-term partnership in 2016 in what the company then called "the most significant partnership created between a non-athlete and a sports brand."

The tie-up helped the German brand close the gap with Nike in the U.S. market.

Yeezy sneakers, which cost between $200 and $700, generate about 1.5 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in annual sales for Adidas, making up a little over 7% of its total revenue, according to estimates from Telsey Advisory Group.

© Reuters. Singer Kanye West walks past models after presenting his Fall/Winter 2015 partnership line with Adidas at New York Fashion Week February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Shares in Adidas, which cut its full-year forecast last week, closed down 3.2%. The group said it would provide more information as part of its upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on Nov. 9.

($1 = 1.0044 euros)

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.